Our Story Our Song Day 21 – Day 26 – Settling In

Tuesday 2 March – Sunday 5 March

20170305_081801 20170305_121909 20170305_124836 20170302_085328The next few days were spent establishing some sort of routine and settling in a bit after almost a month on the road. Our 4 older children moved into our tent while the younger 2 and ourselves moved into our friend’s bush lapa. What a luxury this off road caravan is! We had our own fridge, freezer and gas stove! Our stay in the bush lapa was certainly one that we would recommend to others! Garden living took sometime to get used to but we soon managed to settle our normal routines into a very different setting.

One real joy and blessing of homeschooling is that the children can easily adapt to a new – very different – environment and just pick up with life from where we left off. I had a good smile though when after breakfast they all asked to please be excused from the mat!

It is however a beautiful thing to see what we read Charlotte Mason tell us about year ago being played out now. We read how she insisted it was very important to work on one habit at a time and to lay down firm rails into a child’s life so that these habits would be established throughout life. So we began. Teaching them to make their beds, fold washing, be kind, talk nicely, ask to be excused, how to sweep, how to wipe a table, to complete their work, read their bibles, pray every morning and so on and so on. So often I felt we were wasting our time and effort. Yet I hear my heavenly father utter the same words – “train up a child in the way he shall go and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Yet here in a different time and space I am watching with awe as my children are actually doing these things on their own.

My heart sang

With us not all sleeping in the same space and there being so many garden and friend distractions we have found it difficult settling in and have family bible times. This was really concerning me and then we started chatting in the car and the children all began to tell me what they had read that morning on their own. Yay. My heart sang. Yes family bible time is so important and still a corner stone in our family. Yet here I’m seeing that I no longer need to hold their hands so tightly and be responsible for their spiritual growth. Those years of encouraging them to read on their own and valuing that in our home has now allowed them to begin to walk their spiritual growth with God themselves. And they don’t need to wait for me to bring them water to drink… they know how to go to the father on their own!

Divine provision

On Wednesday we realised that our car brakes had been making a funny noise. So Neil took the car in to sort those out and we found that they needed to be repaired immediately (eeekkk R1500 cash suddenly required) but we knew we had to have it done. The next hour Neil gets a call with someone wanting to give us R1000! How amazing is this God that we serve! Not having the car for a day was a blessing in itself as it meant we could all settle down and just gather ourselves.

We took time to visit the Castle – which we had been learning about in history, as well as the water front.20170303_114918

We went for a Saturday morning walk along St James beach with friends and then spent the day on Fish Hoek beach. I honestly didn’t realise how much we love being at the beach!



We visited a church on Sunday and had a picnic in Tokai forest with my cousin in the forest on Sunday afternoon before being treated with a roast for supper back at “home.”

A somewhat busy but yet calmer week in that we had a base to come back to each day. I must say that I’m constantly loving the how going on a trip such as this, and emerging yourselves into people’s everyday lives has really deepened and strengthened relationships and friendships – within our own family and with people we didn’t know that well before –  in such a forever way.






This is Our Story This is Our Song Day 3

Saturday 11 Feb

By 8am we were on the road again. This was one very long horrid day’s driving. A 7 hour drive took us 10 hours – with us only having 1 stop. There were so many road works and hold ups that it just felt like we never actually got going at all. There were also no free toilets and many messy rundown towns we battled our way through. We knew we had friends waiting on the other side and that kept us going. But it was hard!

I could feel God needing to speak in that moment but I was too near to the moment to hear anything. After 5 hours of stop –go. No loos and tired children. We were getting desperate. We happened to pass a farm with a campsite sign upon the gate. I yelled to Neil to stop and I frantically phoned the number. A dear sweet voice heard the plaintive cry of one very frantic mother. With the most beautiful words she explained that she was out but still welcomed us onto their farm to use their loos and let the children run around. As we twisted down to the campsite I could feel the panic of the busy roads somewhat ease. Then we rounded the corner to the most serene dam. With cranes walking along the water edge. What a blessed, soul restoring 15 minutes those were. A tiny reprieve on paradise amongst the crazy busyness of reality just a kilometer away.2017-02-12 20.26.21

As we wound our way through a myriad of different landscapes and passes we journeyed further away from the comfort and reassurance of our beautiful community in Hilton.


2017-02-14 10.22.03Feeling the nostalgia of my childhood I could not simply speed past a quaint little town of Cathcart but instead I had to drive past my grandparents’ house. As no one is living there now I was able to take my children through the old rusty gate and share with them a tiny glimps of my childhood that has been literally frozen in time. They were able to see the old railway station we had played upon as tiny children, the stump of the old plum tree and the hill down which Tanya and I would let our poor dolls go flying down in their prams. In 30 years nothing much has changed and somehow when you are upon an unknown journey such as ours a place such as roots one with a sense of family and heritage.

We are also learning that it’s not only the planned highlights that make a trip special It’s those little unexpected treats that makes everyone perk up and feel loved and apart of this amazing adventure. Today an unexpected ice-cream stop did just that for us!IMG-20170221-WA0009

As I stop now and consider that trip…. The hours of struggle and toil… I do also recount the books I read to the children about the Eastern Cape through which we travelled, the wind farms we saw for the first time and the awe we felt as we gazed upon their mighty arms sweeping through the mist, I recall the apples we shared with the men on the back of a bakkie in front of us. The funny cow dog audio story we all listened to as well as jokes we made about hardware stores we passed and funny sign boards we encountered. So it was a battle – one of the hardest trip days we’ve ever had to face and yet within that we remember that there was a battle of sorts but there is also beauty that would have been missed had we less time together or had we raced faster past those places. We would never have sought out that beautiful farm dam to take refuge at – as we would have had no need for refuge and so we would have missed out on one of the unplanned highlights of this journey. So sometimes in the tough times life looks like things will never straighten out and we will only ever remember hardship. The truth however is that – yes we’ll remember the battle – but the golden memories that this battle allowed one to create is what we will truly remember and hold to our hearts forever.

Aaaaah Then at the end of this hard long day we were embraced into the home of our beautiful friends Cath and Si. I had forgotten Cath’s zest and flair for amazing food – and the abundance there of. From the moment we entered we were fed platter after platter of amazing snacks and dishes and meats and pies. I’m sure Jesus knew what he was talking about when he spoke of eating together as that evening we felt so loved. By 1am everyone seemed to have found a spot to sleep and we spent a night – not fretting or stressed about the day we had had, but rather a night full – of the satisfaction of love and an open home to the weary traveller.


I must say that if there is one thing I’m learning from this trip is the importance of opening one’s home – at the drop of a hat – to practice hospitality whenever someone is in need. When you are tired and weary and spent beyond your capacity for the day and someone offers you a loo or a coffee or a warm meal or a bed oh as your basic needs are met in that moment you know that no matter what has passed on that day – someone has seen you, they have recognised you and are loving you in a way that reaches deep into your soul.

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